Print and document solutions firm Danwood introduced the national living wage rate in January 2016, three months ahead of the statutory implementation date set by the government. Although the £7.20 hourly rate is only mandatory for those aged 25 and over, Danwood has established the national living wage as its base rate for all employees. The firm opted to take this approach to ensure a fair wage for all staff, particularly as a number of its business divisions have a wide age demographic. Around a third (29%) of the 3% of employees affected by the new rate are under the age of 25.
Jen Roberts, reward and benefits manager at the Danwood group, says: “It’s part of our commitment to our employees that we are going to honour a fair rate of pay for everybody, regardless of their age.”
Danwood communicated the new rate to staff ahead of the Christmas break. The reward team drafted communications for line managers so that they could sit down with affected employees and deliver the news face to face to provide a more personal touch. “We asked managers to do this because our managers are ambassadors to the business and they should be the bearers of good news,” says Roberts.
Further communications have been created for line managers to offer guidance around the national living wage, and an article on the subject has been posted on the organisation’s intranet site so that all staff can find out more information about the new rate of pay.
Danwood intends to conduct a review of its pay and grading structure this year, which will take into account the national living wage. The decision to introduce the rate early and for all staff is in line with Danwood’s #buildagreatplacetowork initiative, which will see the organisation review its benefits package over the next three years to reaffirm its investment in its 1,144 employees.
As part of its commitment to making Danwood a great place to work, a number of new benefits have already been introduced, including a bikes-for-work scheme in April 2015 and a pilot holiday purchase scheme in November 2015. The holiday scheme and associated communications campaign has had an especially positive response from staff, achieving a 19% take-up rate and amounting to 600 days of purchased holiday across the business thus far.